Falcon: Underwater Images

Here are some  underwater images from the Falcon dive.  Dark grainy photos but those are the conditions we deal with 200 feet below the surface. 

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After a long break between wreck dives I was back in the water again on Saturday with scret.org friends.  

This time we were out in Lake Washington and diving the ‘Falcon’ – an early 1900’s passenger steamer that sunk in Lake Washington under unknown circumstances.  The Falcon was built in Bellingham in 1908 and used by the Island Transportation Company for service between Bellingham and Anacortes. The Falcon was sold to the Kitsap County Transportation Company in 1913 and later retired from KCTC’s service in 1919.  

How the Falcon made it to Lake Washington is unknown.  It is likely that after 1919 it was transferred to Lake Washington as part of Captain John Anderson’s passenger ferry fleet.  Around 1920 Captain Anderson (of Anderson’s Shipyard) was named superintendent of ferries by the county – he had been operating a number of passenger steamers on the lake for nearly 20 years (and would continue to do so as the I-90 Bridge was not completed until 1940).

The Falcon now sits upright on the bottom of the lake in 200 feet of water, north of Hwy 520’s floating bridge.  It is in fairly good shape, though the wheel house is missing from the structure.  This may indicate the Falcon was stripped then scuttled intentionally.  The square windows of the Falcon are still framed in nicely and the bow & stern are both intact. 

I’ve included a few photos with this entry: the first couple are the Falcon above water, the third is a 3D rendering of the Falcon today (forward cabin & pilot house missing) and the fourth is a sidescan sonar image of the wreck sitting on the bottom of the lake.  Sidescan imagery courtesy of Innerspace Exploration. 

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Potential New Wreck & The Coal Cars

A few months ago when I was out conducting side scan sonar work with Innerspace Exploration, we hit an area North of 520 that had a number of wrecks within close range of one another.  

This area is generally known to the small group of local exploration divers, with the main wreck of the bunch being the YMS-359 – a US Navy Minesweeper that sits in 200ft of water and is about 135ft long.  So I didn’t think too much of the information until last week when I sat down with the data and tried to match wreck names to target locations.  As I matched coordinates to wrecks like Elfin, Urania, the previously mentioned YMS-359, Falcon, and Scout – I came up with one more set of coordinates than I had wreck names to match.

I bounced the general coordinates of this wreck off my friend Walter, who also has an extensive list of targets in the lake, and he couldn’t find a name to match either. So once again, I think we have a new target to explore…

The week of August 15th we’re going to make an exploration dive on the Coal Cars.  I have wanted to hit these submerged targets for awhile, so we’re going to make a dive on them first.  They are right up next to the 520 bridge, which can be really rough water depending on the wind conditions. 

Post dive we’ll head to the new coordinates to confirm them one more time; and see if we can locate the wreck with a basic fish finder. If we confirm the position of the wreck, we’ll make a dive on it a short time later.